HOW SIMILAR OR DIFFERENT ARE YOU, COMPARED TO OTHER RIDERS? Over the years, non-motorcycle riders have asked me to express common traits among motorbike riders that I’ve observed. But I’ve been hard pressed to identify truly universal common rider attributes – other than a love of motorcycles and riding. Perhaps you know of some that you might add in the comments below?
Regardless, as I’ve thought about this from time to time (well, factually, I’ve not thought about it too much at all), it occurs to me that at least one common trait among “successful” motorcycle riders (those that have been riding for many years), would have to be their awareness of the road, and especially their awareness of other drivers on the road. Although such awareness cannot guarantee long-term rider survival, I would say it’s a factor that would separate out temporary, or short-term riders, from long-time riders.
Stated more directly, it’s certainly possible that a rider can be taken out, in spite of a pretty acute driver awareness, since it’s common for motorcycles to be smashed by automobiles that have violated the biker’s right-of-way.
Acute Rider Sensitivity to Road and Drivers
Having said that, if a rider does “not” have an acute sensitivity to on-the-road situational awareness, he/she is almost guaranteed to be taken out by an inattentive driver, sooner or later.
Stated another way, show me a motorcyclist who maintains a similar degree of situational awareness on a motorcycle that many drivers are accustomed to in a car, and I will show you a short-term rider. A motorcycle rider simply does not have the luxury of being as inattentive as may be observed among many drivers we share the road with.
On the other hand, show me any motorcyclist with a whole bunch of miles and riding experience under their belt, and I’ll show you a rider who has an unusually acute sensitivity to what is happening moment-to-moment in front of, and behind him/her, on the road.
(Conversely, show me a motorcycle rider who also drives a car, and I’ll show you an automobile driver who is more aware of their driving environment than the vast majority of other drivers).
Acute situational awareness of one’s riding environment means being able to avoid quite a number of potentially bad riding circumstances by foreseeing drivers moving into your right-of-way, and simultaneously changing your course, to get out of the way.
Even short-term riders soon learn that it doesn’t matter who is legally right or not, in terms of the laws of the road, since motorcycle riders get the short end of the stick in most confrontations with 4-wheeled vehicles.
From my view, acute situational awareness simply equates to a greater control of one’s self, environment and future, which I would argue, equates to a greater control of one’s life.
Well, OK, that may be stretching things too far, but at least I could more confidently argue that it equates to a greater control of one’s riding and motorcycling experience and staying alive. If you want to stretch that further to consider it also means greater control of one’s non-motorcycle life, I’ll leave that up to you.
Common Motorcycle Characteristics?
The more I ride, and the more I speak with other riders, the more I am aware that there are as many different rider personality characteristics as there are riders. Therefore, at least at this moment, I can not seem to come up with any other “common” characteristics among riders.
But maybe you can.
What would YOU say are common characteristics among motorcycle riders you have become acquainted with? (Add your comments below).